I had a telling conversation with a young man recently. He said “So where do men fit into the picture of what you teach to women?” and “how do you stay balanced when focusing on teaching only half of the population?”I was intrigued by the sign of anguish I saw in his expression, quickly realising he had some prior bad experience and sensed he was trying to place my position as a woman & as a teacher who guides other women. I explained that men greatly benefit from the energy women cultivate in Tigress Yoga, and that men made up half my clientele in the past when I was working full time as a therapist/ tantric bodyworker, but I knew his enquiry was deeper than that.
He shared something with me that when he said it, I knew it was also on the minds of many other men too. He said it was great so many women are focusing on overcoming the patriarchy by focusing on female empowerment, but was confused about where that leaves men. I sensed a familiar & unspoken communication that I’ve seen many times – when a men struggle to define their place in the world, which leaves them feeling lumped into that patriarchal category of men. Feeling that pain, I quickly shared my definition of what patriarchy means to me.
And let me share it here loud & clear for the record, so anyone else who feels a dischord with women’s focus on female empowerment can understand:
Patriarchy is NOT just men vs women. Patriarchy is about control & power, and it is actually against Life itself. It negatively impacts the wellbeing of men, women, children and all of nature. In truth, it is simply fear and ignorance. It lacks education, integration and personal sovereignty. Yes it is mostly women who have been overtly victimised by that attempt to control the Feminine principle + it negatively impacts us all.
Although we all suffer as a result of patriarchy, it’s not discriminating to expose the incredible harm that has happened to countless women. The genuine seeking for real equality is NOT going to come via silencing women who speak up about the current unacceptable situations that happen every day around the world.
Yes many women need to trust again, and they also need to see examples of the kind of men who are worth trusting – en masse, not just in personal friendship circles. It’s time to stop the back & forth passing of blame so we can place our attention on being part of the new paradigm. We need to commit to this Now.
With a growing emphasis on female empowerment in the world today, recently there have been titles such as, ‘Are Men Obsolete?’ Although it’s a provocative title that gets attention, I am very clear that we women, really really need men.
In the young man I was speaking with, I could see this might be a question in his heart. He shared without censoring his thoughts that for many men, there appear to be 2 main options to express their masculinity: violence & sexual prowess – both of which can be easily manipulated and used to have power-over women. He was in that moment being a voice for the collective pain & confusion of man. He indicated that with machinery taking over actual roles for men, and movements to take down the power of men, that it’s unclear to many of how to show up. I could feel he saw the primal power of man being out of place in such a domesticated society, where many misguided men are choosing to express their power in negative and destructive acts.
Really appreciating unusually honest sharing, I tend enquire further when these conversations come up. “Do YOU feel confused about what your role could be?” Although he continued to speak, all I could actually do in that moment was feel the anguish behind his words, as he seemed to be tapping into a collective voice for men. And I recalled a past experience I had in a supermarket at a time when I was awakening to my female power – it was one of those moments where time stopped. I looked around, being uninspired by what I was seeing, and realising that I was finding it hard to really respect or feel attracted to men who were blindly accepting their domestication.
“Would you like to know what I see as the most vital roles we really need men to be in?” I asked.
His open hearted reply of YES invited me to share my perspective. And I wanted to share it openly here on this blog, with an invitation to keep this conversation going amongst other men & women too. “First thing”, I said, “is WE NEED YOU. We ALL really need men to show up and support the changes of going beyond patriarchy, together.”
It’s TIME for our brothers to stop assuming that patriarchy means them personally just because they are male, and to instead start being part of the solution. Don’t waste any more energy on disputing this, or on minimising the harm some men do, or silencing the women who have the courage to speak up. Just be an active part of the solution.
Eg. when you see a woman talking or posting about how yet another act of male violence has happened, don’t respond with a version of ‘yes & men suffer violence too’. In those moments we just need you to acknowledge what happened. We just need to know that yet another death or raping of woman is something you find unacceptable too. Simple as that. Trust gets built from there. I know hardly any men who openly state that what’s going on is unacceptable. Yet I’ve seen plenty of men diluting the message of women who do have the courage speak up. Recognise the guilt you may be carrying for being male, see it for what it is & instead take a stand with us.
As a woman who does focus full time on Sacred Feminine teachings, I know I am doing my part for sure, however often I feel at a loss some days when it comes to those positions of power in society that keep perpetuating such destruction in our world.
The main vital roles I see we are in need of:
* we need you to be the protectors of women & children – be an advocate for the Sacred Feminine, support the women in these roles, speak up and actively protect women
* we need your presence in changing laws that excuse and continue to allow male violence against women & the laws that allow the destruction of nature to go on
* we need you to be a protector and guardian of nature – to change policies and focus on conservation rather than the controlling and destruction of nature
* we need you to contribute innovative thought for new technologies that provide options for every-day living & to figure out how to bring it forth, without waiting for government or corporate approval (considering many inventors have been silenced)
* and we need you to demonstrate by example, what leadership looks like so you can educate other men to know what real integrity, honour, strength and true masculine power looks like. We especially need to see men taking up active leadership roles in guiding men away from violence as their solution to emotional pain – it is ‘men’s business.’
Obviously there are other options too. I shared the main vital roles that I saw for men to really show and be part of the change, using their primal masculine power in a focused and productive way. Without needing to hear his response in words, I could already see it clearly. He breathed deeper, he sat up straighter and he quietly exuded an air of confidence, of peace. He knew that when I said ‘we need you’, I wasn’t telling him what he should be doing in a lecturing kind of way, like many articles circulated on social media lean towards. Instead I was speaking straight from my heart with an energy of encouragement and support of him finding his true role in society.
I felt really touched by this conversation and saddened to feel into the confusion so many men really do have, in not knowing how they can show up. This is one of the ways that patriarchal energy has been so negative for all of us – even good men can feel somewhat castrated by the effects of it. What a paralysing reality for the young men who actually do have the opportunity available to them, to be part of social change that can greatly benefit the quality of life for us all.
To all our beautiful brothers, partners and friends: WE NEED YOU to show up, to stand WITH us, to help guide the way for our society to take a different road. Please understand that when women speak up about the unacceptable conditions happening for us, it doesn’t mean we are against you or against men. We need to know you are supporting the changes we need to see. Yes some women are so devastated and overwhelmed that it may appear otherwise at times – but please just see that for what it is and move on into the new paradigm of mutual support that many women are already embracing.
My hope in sharing this blog is to direct conversation towards what being part of the change looks like, on a practical level. Also to invite women to share what they would love to see men speak up and stand up for in the world, with an intention of loving guidance & inclusion. And for men to join the conversation on this blog, to share the solutions you might already be working on, because I know so many women, including myself, who would really love to hear from you. And to all men, please share the vital roles you see that need to be filled by men. Lets go beyond the old discussions of men vs women & keep this new LIFE-GIVING momentum going.
Note: the intention of this blog is not to continue to the debate of who is worse off – men or women, so if you comment here, please be part of the solution, not the old, tired, worn-out conversation. Thanks!